SMS Campaign Tips & Best Practices: 5 Rules to Live By

In many ways, SMS marketing and two-way SMS campaigns are still the wild wild west of business communication.

While being able to immediately reach your audience is an exciting feature of bulk SMS, in reality, there are many pitfalls of poorly executed SMS campaigns. To help you avoid these common mass text mistakes, we’ve put together the following SMS campaign guidelines and best practices. These bulk text rules will not only future-proof your business but also create more meaningful, lasting relationships with your contacts.

1. SMS Marketing Lists: Get Permission

Getting your contacts’ permission to send them text messages is vital. First of all, it validates that they know who you are and want to hear from you via text. Secondly, it’s a legal requirement. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which has regulatory power over mass texting under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), requires prior consent for text marketing and SMS campaigns. Put simply, each and every person on your SMS contact list must opt-in to receive communications from your organization.

Finally (and perhaps most importantly), always provide an opt-out mechanism in your first interaction with a new contact, allowing them to easily (and immediately) opt out of your text campaign by replying STOP, CANCEL or UNSUBSCRIBE. It’s also important to remind contacts in the initial auto-response that “msg & data rates may apply.”

In addition to following both the law and best practices for text campaigns, these initial interactions help build trust in your brand by always offering honest and comprehensive communication.

2. Build a Quality SMS Contact List

While “bulk” messaging is inherently a numbers game, you can’t overlook the quality of your SMS contact list. In order to have a successful campaign – in terms of sales, gained leads, community engagement, etc. – you need to build a captive audience that will both benefit from and engage with your SMS campaign.

One way to do this is to encourage contacts to opt into your campaigns through promotions or loyalty programs. For example, a restaurant could offer a free appetizer for opting into their weekly specials text campaign or a store could have a mobile-based loyalty program that allows for text message rewards, updates, and program information.

Quality SMS contact lists don’t build themselves, however. It’s important to cross-market and promote your SMS campaigns in emails, on your website, on social and through in-person advertising.

3. Send the Right SMS Campaign to the Right Person

The most successful text campaigns are targeted. People are happy to receive helpful information or promotions they’re interested in via text; general or irrelevant messages, however, can lead to mass opt-outs and negative impressions.

You can avoid this common SMS campaign mistake if your bulk text message service offers a tagging feature. Tags is a bulk text feature that allows you to dynamically segment your audience so you can send targeted SMS campaigns to segments of your contact list, ensuring that your mass text is seen by the right people at the right time.

4. Get Personal in Your Text Campaigns

Bulk texts can feel, well… bulk. That’s why – in addition to segmenting your audience with tags – it’s important to be as personable as you’re able via text. What, exactly, does that mean?

One way to personalize your SMS campaigns is to insert your contacts’ names wherever possible. Another way is to inquire about their text preferences. Surveys are a great way to find out what sort of information individual contacts wish to receive, when they’d like to receive it, and how often they’d like to be contacted.

If your bulk text message service offers the feature, two-way SMS is another great way to get personal in your SMS campaigns. Two-way SMS allows you to communicate with your audience one-on-one to answer questions, troubleshoot issues, field requests, or address any other inquiries immediately.

5. Less is More & Timing is Everything

No one wants to be bombarded with text messages, no matter how useful those messages may be. Scheduling automated SMS campaigns at pre-defined intervals can keep your audience from being overwhelmed with all of the great texts you’re sending them.

It’s important to set up reoccurring text messages to keep your audience engaged, generate sales and leads, communicate important information, and promote community engagement – but finding the right cadence is key. And when it comes to the scheduled text message, less is always more. Keep it short and to the point, but don’t forget to keep it fun. SMS campaigns are all about engagement.

Creating lasting customer and community relationships through text campaigns is easier than ever thanks to bulk text message services like Pidj. As SMS marketing makes its way out of the wild wild west of business communications and into the mainstream, the types of organizations that are taking advantage of the immense benefits of text campaigns have expanded way beyond just businesses.